As external conditions change, it becomes tougher to meet the three conditions that sociologists since the 1950s have considered crucial to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other, said Rebecca G. Adams, a professor of sociology and gerontology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This is why so many people meet their lifelong friends in college, she added.

via The Challenge of Making Friends as an Adult –

Today is my longtime friend’s birthday…it is one of those milestone birthdays that you celebrate with good friends because they understand how it is to mark another birthday that ends in a zero.

It has been a week long celebration, which I am thrilled to have been able to spend at her side.

You see, we met close to 30 years ago now…it was a chance meeting of sorts at a Country Club that both our families had joined so that our husbands could play golf and our kids could swim and play tennis.

From the start, our husbands hit it off, both were physicians and from the East Coast, both played at golf and looked forward to an early Sunday tee-off so that they could spend the rest of the day with their families.

My friend and I are both nurses married to physicians, I think this is a bond that is special because as a physician’s wife, you spend a lot of time with the kids sans without your husband because of his extra long work days and on-call schedules. You also have to learn to live with men who are very intense and under the stress of make life and death decisions on a daily basis.

We knew that our day to day activities did not nearly measure up to the stress and intensity as those of our husbands. Nevertheless at times, we needed each other’s shoulders to get through motherhood.

We also understood our days were not all that easy as young moms of four girls under the age of five.

Although we lived in different suburbs of Chicago, we managed to keep in touch throughout the long winters as we looked forward to spending almost every day during the summer in each other’s company watching our kids learn to swim and play tennis. Those were great years and we knew it then and look back fondly on them now.

A little over four years ago, we both became grandmothers…and yes, we dote on our granddaughters.

I am so thrilled that we are now grandmothers together, just as we were moms together. Because, becoming a grandparent is a very special life milestone, that one cannot truly appreciate until it happens.

Over the years as friends, we have shared many  holidays, family celebrations and life events together… as well as some of our happiest moments and some of our very saddest moments.  All of us are now adult orphans and my friend’s husband and I have tragically lost our only siblings as well. Together, all four of us have laughed, cried and solved each other’s problems at dinner every Friday night for almost 20 years.

Traveling as couples has taken a back seat only recently because of our grandparent statuses. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to travel for many years as families and then as empty nesters.

We made a yearly pilgrimage to the Bahamas, a place that we enjoyed with our children at one time, then as couples… hopefully we will travel there again with our grandchildren.

A standout special trip is one, the four of us made to Ireland years back. Our sides hurt from laughter as we drove the verdant countryside, white knuckled at times on curvy narrow roads (left-sided of course). Simply put, unforgettable, especially the sunrises and sunsets, along with the sips of Irish whisky and the tastes of Irish humor.

This morning as I drank my coffee and perused the New York Times, I came upon this piece “The Challenge of Making Friends as an Adult”. It brought home many thoughts of past and present friends.

It made me happy to think about a weekend many years ago, when I spotted this young mom and her two daughters sitting at the pool, as my husband and I with our two daughters in tow were making our way to the car after a long day of swimming.

I turned and told my husband to “wait a minute,”  while I went over and introduced myself  to a woman that would become my trusted friend for the next 30 years and beyond…we would grow up together…and grow old together at the same time.

So, Happy Birthday, Kathy and here’s to sharing many more years together as friends and family.

xo…your grateful friend,


Summer, “Slow Down”

Slow Down…It’s Summer

Summer...Gift from the SeaGift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh is one of my favorite books.  I read it for the first time  about 10 years ago and it remains a book that I have gravitated to each and every summer since my first reading of it.

Actually, I discovered Anne Lindberg’s book many years before I actually sat down and read it while on an idyllic summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard.

Martha’s Vineyard

My hard cover copy is signed by my father who received it through his “Book of the Month” membership in the 1950’s. I remember seeing this book around my house growing up and being pulled by the title to open its pages. But I was actually too young at the time to understand or appreciate what Anne Lindberg was discussing…although I surely could appreciate her love of the sea.

The sea has always made me feel at peace…my earliest experience of the ocean’s ebb and flow was actually at Rockaway Beach in New York. My grandmother’s dear friend, Alice had a bungalow there, where we would visit and soak up the salt air and play in the sand.

Other happy memories of the seashore included many trips to Jones Beach on Long Island.

It was an adventure with my Dad…since my parents were divorced it was my special time with him. He shared with me his life long love affair with the sea which I have inherited and carry with me to this day. He was an avid competitive swimmer. I always admired him from the shoreline as he swam back and forth way beyond the break of the waves. He taught me respect for the water which is ever our friend as long as we revere its strength and power.

July brings the heat of the summer and with that, out comes my copy of Gift from the Sea. Each time I read Anne’s words I find new meanings…in my eyes she speaks to all women. Her book says different things to a woman depending on what is going on in her life at the time.

So, I hope you will relax with me, and open a copy of this book on your Kindle or buy the hard copy and jot little notes on the side of pages that pop for you.

Let me know if you are along for the read and most of all “Enjoy your summer!”

Toast Tuesday!

I know it is a little late but here is my “toast” today.

iGame Mom is a wonderful blog for parents looking for good Apps for children. I have downloaded many Apps that have been suggested on this site…most were free or at special pricing.

Take a look for yourself and let me know what you think.

A place for the busy parents to discover the good educational Apps for kids, and learn what they can do to stay engaged with the kids in the new games world.

via About — iGameMom.

Cranberries anyone?

How many of you have experienced the pain of a UTI (urinary tract infection)?

If you have then you know that it is extremely uncomfortable and when it strikes you cannot get a remedy fast enough.

I have always heard that cranberry juice helps but there is no absolute proof as to why.

Yet, it does seem to relieve the pain quicker along with over-the-counter pills from your drugstore.

There are many reasons for UTIs. A medical consult is always recommended in order to find the underlying cause and then establish a treatment with antibiotics.

An untreated infection can lead to a kidney infection, which is even a more serious problem, altogether.

This morning…I came across this little “blurp” about UTIs and thought I would share it.

Even if you have never experienced a UTI, I am sure you know someone who has.

Action PointsCranberry-containing products have long been used as a remedy to prevent UTIs possibly by inhibiting adherence of uropathogens to uroepithelial cells.Point out that this study found evidence that cranberry containing products are associated with protective effects against UTIs.

via Medical News: Cranberry for UTI More Than Folk Remedy? – in Urology, General Urology from MedPage Today.

Allergies and Kids

Peanut allergieschildren and pregnancy

About 1 percent of children and adults in the United States are allergic to peanuts and peanut products, including peanut butter and any food containing peanuts (1, 2). For reasons that are not well understood, peanut allergy has doubled in the past decade (3). Individuals with a peanut allergy can have a serious (such as difficulty breathing and loss of consciousness) or even fatal reaction if they eat peanuts. This reaction occurs because the immune system of an affected individual reacts abnormally to usually harmless proteins in peanuts. Children and adults who are allergic to peanuts should not eat them at any time. Unfortunately, there is no proven way to prevent peanut allergy in a child.

Peanut allergies are very frightening and very serious.

I learned this first hand when I witnessed my first peanut allergy reaction.

It was a 2 year old child, who had ingested an extremely small amount of granola and within several minutes she was completely covered in hives. Fortunately, she did not have difficulty breathing and was treated promptly.

A few days ago…I received this peanut allergy update from the March of Dimes.

I am passing it along with the hope that it will help in understanding this potentially life threatening allergic reaction and how it can be avoided.

“Week in Review” from Parenting in the Loop

Here are my picks for weekend reading…

It is blistering hot here in Chicagoland so we will be mostly indoors until the heat breaks which is expected on Saturday night.

Try to stay cool and hydrated everyone.

Fourth of July…and the Kid in Me!

July 2, 2012 by lorettelavine | Edit

Macy’s Fourth of July NYC

Hi…Happy Summer!

I have been looking around for activities to celebrate the Fourth of July, preschool style.

My search has yielded many neat things you can do with your child or in my case grandchild in preparation for the Fourth of July.

My favorite find, so far, is from Toddler Approved. It is beckoning the child in me to the arts and crafts store.

In the spirit of George Washington…I cannot tell a lie. This week, along with the many recollections of past Fourth of July celebrations, is one of my favorite weeks of the summer

Celebrating July 4th always brings with it a flood of memories …and thankfully creates many new ones as well.

Some of my past reminiscences include…

sparklers (back in the day) when fireworks were sold fairly freely,

Macy’s spectacular fireworks on the Hudson River,

1976 the year of the Bicentennial Tall Ships in the New York harbor.

Lower Manhattan-Fourth of July 1976,

The Fourth, Chicago style with a village parade followed by an evening picnic and Lakefront fireworks with a group of close friends.


Chicago Fireworks

This year will again be a celebration with friends culminating in a beautiful fireworks display in our own neighborhood

As Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever plays and the “bombs” burst in the air over head, I will be smiling and remembering  past celebrations while enjoying the sparkle in the eyes of my granddaughter as she watches her first fireworks.

Memories in the making…

What are some of your favorite Fourth of July memories?

How are you celebrating this year…any fun kids activities?